What Is the Most Effective Substance Abuse Treatment Available?

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Addiction is one of the most common health conditions in the US, probably more so than you think. Believe it or not, 1 in 10 adults in the US will experience substance use disorder (SUD) at some point in their lives, and 75% of them will never receive treatment.

However, it isn’t all grim. Plenty of people go on to live long and fulfilling lives after winning their battles with addiction. Even if it doesn’t feel like it right now, so can you.

Let’s talk about the importance of substance abuse treatment and how to find the right program for your needs today!

Why Treatment Is So Important

If you’re reading this because you’re thinking of getting sober, then congratulations. That’s the first step in recovery. However, if you’re still not convinced, let’s ask a fundamental question that’s often overlooked; why is treatment so important?

First, it’s not easy to get sober alone. Even if you manage to get sober on your own, staying sober is an entirely different challenge that’s fraught with thousands of varying factors. You have a long life to live, and staying sober through all of the challenges, highs, and lows throughout the rest of your life is not as easy as it sounds.

Treatment seeks to provide you with the tools you’ll need for a lifetime of sobriety. If you want to get this burden off of your back and live the life that you want to live, then treatment is the best path forward by far.

Also, doing it alone isn’t always safe. Detox can have lethal complications, and the possibility of relapsing after lowering your tolerance puts you at a much higher risk of overdose. Having expert help is the safest way forward.

Lastly, the right treatment can help you in more ways than one. It could help you overcome a mental illness, work through grief, meet new sober companions, and so much more. If you want to live a happy, healthy life, then treatment is critical.

There is life after addiction. Although we’re used to hearing depressing statistics related to substance abuse, 75% of people with addiction go on to live long, healthy lives. Let’s talk about some of your options.

Helping a Loved One Find Treatment

If you’re reading this because you’re concerned for a loved one, then good for you! They need you more than ever.

However, there are plenty of challenges with convincing someone to find treatment. It’s a big commitment that not everybody is ready to make. It’s important to show that you have their best interest at heart and find the right programs for them ahead of time, which we can help with.

Once you have them, sit your loved one down and try to talk to them. You can invite others to speak, but only if they will be productive. Find a time when they are sober and in a good mood, if possible.

Also, don’t invite anyone that will cause unnecessary tension. A one-on-one intervention conversation is better than a 10-person intervention that makes your loved one feel uncomfortable.

Tell them about your concerns and the benefits of treatment. If they agree, offer them treatment options from the lists we’ll discuss. If they refuse, give them space for now and don’t overwhelm them, as this may put them and others in a dangerous situation.

Knowing When It’s Time

For many of us, it’s hard to know if we need treatment. It’s easy to convince ourselves that we can stop whenever we want, but it’s important to look at the signs and symptoms of addiction, whether it’s for ourselves or for a loved one.

To make it simple, if you’ve experienced withdrawals, if you’re afraid to stop using substances, or if substance use is interfering with your daily life, then it’s likely that you have SUD. Of course, there are plenty of other signs, but that alone should tell you that it’s time for treatment.

Recognizing the signs in others can be challenging, but if you need to, there are patterns to look for. For example:

  • Constantly lying about whereabouts
  • Missing social obligations
  • Complaining of illness frequently (withdrawals)
  • Spending time with unreputable people
  • Money issues
  • Physical signs (red eyes, needle marks, etc.)
  • Bad breath or covering of odors
  • Social habits revolving around substances

The list goes on. Of course, none of these spells out “addiction” on their own, but if they become a pattern, then you may have a reason to be concerned.

Inpatient vs Outpatient Treatment

In most cases, treatment will fall under the umbrella of inpatient or outpatient treatment. Inpatient means that you live in “rehab” or drug treatment centers and outpatient means that you live at home. However, there are hybrid solutions and many subcategories, which we’ll discuss.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment is an umbrella term used to describe a treatment program you attend while living at home. This could include doctor’s visits, therapy services, support groups, and more. For most, this is a great option for ongoing treatment when you’re trying to maintain sobriety.

In most cases, outpatient treatment isn’t recommended for newly sober patients, but any treatment is better than no treatment. The reason is that if you’re still living at home during the early days of sobriety, which is the most sensitive period, then it will be much easier to give in to temptation.

However, that’s not to suggest that outpatient treatment isn’t effective. It’s just ideal for long-term recovery, not immediate sobriety. There are other types of outpatient services that may be more ideal for early recovery, which we’ll discuss.

Even the best inpatient treatment programs have a 40% to 60% relapse rate. Keep in mind that number is not a failure rate but merely a testament to the strong nature of the disease. It’s important to give yourself every opportunity for success from the beginning of your journey.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment is the best form of treatment for first-time recovery, especially if you haven’t been sober for more than 30 days. Not only is getting through detox alone challenging, but it’s also dangerous.

During the first two weeks of recovery, your body will suffer the consequences of withdrawal. When you’ve been accustomed to a substance, your body stops balancing hormones and neurotransmitters in the same way and, instead, develops a dependence on the substance to fill those needs. Once that substance is removed from the body, it creates an imbalance that can come with serious consequences.

For that reason, having access to medical oversight around the clock is very important during the detox process. This is especially important if you’ve been abusing substances for longer periods, as the withdrawal symptoms will only get worse.

Generally speaking, inpatient treatment will include anything that outpatient treatment will offer. There will also be easy access to medical or therapeutic services, plenty of recreational activities, and less temptation for relapse.

Of course, inpatient tends to be the most expensive type of drug addiction treatment, and not everybody wants to spend 30 days away from their lives. However, it offers a controlled, substance-free environment that’s perfect for the early days of recovery, which is the most sensitive period.

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

If you want the best of both worlds, consider PHP for your treatment needs. If you have serious obligations in your life that you can’t abandon, but you feel you need medical oversight or supervision to avoid relapse, then this is a great option for you.

Essentially, you will have a lot of the benefits of an inpatient program with some of the freedoms of outpatient programs. This style is a great fit for those with:

  • Adequate support at home
  • No risk of causing harm to self or others
  • Medical stability
  • Motivation to voluntarily participate in treatment
  • Coinciding mental illness(es)

If that sounds like it’s right for you, then consider enrolling in a partial-hospitalization program.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

If you need to stay at home for any reason but want to give yourself every opportunity for success, then an IOP may be right for you. You’ll receive similar care to what you’d find in an inpatient program but within the comfort of your home. 

However, you still won’t be able to work or do too much outside of treatment, as these programs will take up most of your day. You could also save money with an inpatient program and find it easier to abstain from substances. Still, IOPs can be ideal if you have:

  • Adequate support at home
  • Safe home environment (free from substances)
  • Large family or work obligations

Otherwise, we’d generally recommend inpatient treatment. Being at home can be a relapse trigger, even if there are no substances available to you.

Specialized Types of Substance Abuse Treatment

We’ve discussed the different structures that most treatment centers will offer. However, there are many types of treatment for those with certain needs. With any of the forms of treatment mentioned above, here are some specialized treatments you can choose from!

Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis treatment is a treatment for both addiction and a coinciding mental health condition. If you treat one without the other, you may never find success in your journey. Choosing the wrong type of treatment for these needs is a common reason for the high relapse rate among drug and alcohol treatment centers.

Substance abuse treatment with dual diagnosis is the best option for anybody with SUD and a mental illness like depression, anxiety, PTSD, or others. These conditions may only worsen a person’s addiction and lead to self-medicating, which is extremely dangerous. Addressing both conditions at the same time is always best practice.

Treatment for Women

If you feel more comfortable in a gender-segregated environment for whatever reason, there are women’s treatment options available to you. A lot of women of all ages have been in similar circumstances, so you aren’t alone. Finding the treatment that’s right for you is most important.


More and more, there are treatment programs available to those in the LGBTQ+ community. We all know that the community is facing oppression and other challenges that are entirely unique to them. Fortunately, those people are not alone.

If you’re a member of the community and you struggle with addiction, there is treatment available to you. You may even meet people just like you who are facing the same struggles. You’re not alone.

Faith-Based Treatment

Some treatment centers may offer a faith-based treatment program based on your specific religious beliefs. Depending on your denomination, you may have to do some digging to find them, but they do exist. If this is a priority for you, then research faith-based treatment options near you!

Treatment for Professionals

Working professionals may feel out of place in certain treatment programs, which doesn’t help the recovery process. If you’re a professional in need of addiction treatment, you’ll find plenty of others in the same situation. Addiction doesn’t affect one community more than another, but finding your community in addiction recovery can make a world of difference!

Find Help Now

Now that you know the importance of substance abuse treatment and how to find the right program for your needs, why wait? The longer you or your loved one goes without treatment, the worse off you are. Get help today and start your journey to recovery and a better life!

Stay up to date with our latest recovery tips, and feel free to contact us for more information or to verify your insurance!

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Looking into the options when it comes to inpatient counseling for substance abuse might be what we need for a relative of ours. This way, they can be surrounded by experts and other addicts so they can work out their problems in the right environment. Once I find an addiction counseling service in the area, I’ll definitely take our relative there.

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